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Mind-body medicine in addiction recovery

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As someone who has battled a devastating opiate addiction for a decade and has treated hundreds of people with various addictions, I am increasingly impressed with how psychosomatic medicine can be a key component of addiction recovery. is the use of behavioral and lifestyle interventions such as meditation, relaxation, yoga, acupuncture and mindfulness to address medical problems holistically. Mind-body treatments can be integrated with conventional medical treatments or used as stand-alone treatments for specific symptoms.psychosomatic medicine currently being researched It has been used effectively by the National Institutes of Health to treat addiction and may play a role in addiction recovery programs in the future.

The mind-body principle is nothing new to the recovery movement

The mind-body principle has existed since the beginning of the recovery movement in 1937 and is a large part of Alcoholics Anonymous. His 12 steps of AA feature concepts such as surrender, meditation, gratitude, and letting go. These are all important elements of psychosomatic medicine. Most 12-step meetings end with a prayer of silence. mutual aid group In addition to social support, the principles of mindfulness that are part of these programs should not be overlooked.

My Experience with Mind-Body Therapy for Addiction

When I was sent to 90-day rehab by the medical board for my addiction, we participated in many activities that seemed meant to approximate psychosomatic medicine, but they were bullshit. was not particularly scientific. I don’t believe they had the intended effect or were therapeutic at all. We sat meditatively in silence (everyone around me chain smoked and had asthma). I repeated the lecture “Let go, leave it to God” (I still don’t know what this means). He stared at the red square projected on the screen for 30 minutes (which gave him a migraine). Then we went to a local acupuncturist who hooked up extra current to the needles to give me extra “chi” (I felt like I was being cooked for dinner). Given that rehab is his $50 billion industry, this felt like a missed opportunity to tap into psychosomatic medicine in superficial or trivial ways.

Formal Mind-Body Therapy for Addiction Rigorously Researched

Fortunately, there are now several science-based psychosomatic options for people in recovery. Recurrence prevention based on mindfulness (MBRP) is a relapse prevention technique that uses meditation and a cognitive approach. It is intended to develop awareness of cues and triggers so that you do not instinctively use drugs. It also helps people to sit comfortably with uncomfortable feelings and thoughts — their distress tolerance, a person’s ability to endure emotional discomfort — take the drug and automatically escape. No. A large part of the appeal of drug use is the replacement of bad feelings with good ones, for example, by using drugs, so improving pain tolerance may help many, if not all, addictions. A common theme in recovery approaches.

Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) is another technique for dealing with addiction in recovery. MORE’s attempt to address the underlying distress that led to addiction using both mindfulness and positive psychology.MORE has his three main pillars. cued reactivity (the way an addict responds to cues, such as looking at a bottle of prescription drugs, which often triggers cravings); way of paying (for example, a pack of cigarettes when you quit smoking).

mindfulness addiction therapy (MBAT) is a technique that uses mindfulness to teach clients how to become aware of their current emotions and sensations, and how to disconnect themselves from the urge to use drugs. , I practiced thoroughly in rehab. The goal is to break the automatic link between feeling discomfort, craving for the drug, and taking the drug thoughtlessly and without reflection to alleviate the discomfort.

Is there good evidence for a psychosomatic approach to recovery?

There is promising research that mind-body treatments for addiction are effective, but some studies are conflicting. meta-analysis in the Substance Abuse Treatment Journalmindfulness is a positive intervention for substance use disorders, with a significant but small effect in reducing substance misuse, a substantial effect in reducing cravings, and, importantly, a reduction in stress. This treatment is highly effective in reducing levels.

However, not all psychosomatic studies of addiction have shown overwhelmingly positive results. Several randomized controlled trials have not shown that psychosomatic medicine is better than cognitive-behavioral therapy in reducing alcohol or cocaine use or abstaining from tobacco use.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine We have thoroughly reviewed much of the current literature surrounding psychosomatic medicine as it applies to addiction treatment and have summarized the impact of specific psychosomatic treatments as follows:

  • Acupuncture is generally safe and may help with withdrawal, cravings, and anxiety, but there is little evidence that it directly affects actual substance use.
  • There has been some evidence that hypnotherapy improves smoking cessation.
  • Mindfulness-based interventions can reduce substance use such as alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, tobacco, opiates, and amphetamines to a greater extent than control therapy, and are also associated with reduced cravings and risk of relapse. However, the data from some studies are not strong.

At this time, more and better evidence and more definitive conclusions are needed about how psychosomatic medicine can help treat addiction in different treatment settings. Ness-based therapy is indeed very effective as an adjunctive treatment for addiction and can help people with anxiety, pain tolerance and cravings. Once you have a successful recovery, take your medication and avoid a relapse.

Mind-body interventions to prevent addiction

If psychosomatic medicine can significantly reduce stress, we must ask whether it can help us deal with the chronic and overwhelming stress that our society faces and also help prevent addiction. Mm. Addiction is largely considered to be a “disease of despair”. The main drivers of addiction are untreated anxiety and depression, unresolved childhood trauma, social isolation, and poor pain tolerance. If we could all learn, or be trained, to be more attentive, grateful, present, and connected, then perhaps our most basic needs should be met and eventually become habits. I guess. And it makes us even worse — our society has less problems.

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